By Leighton Hoban
The day was over-cast, and the smell of rain was wafting through the air. Or so Met Eireann was telling me! It was 7.45am and I was putting my kayak gear into the boot. Gear, which hadn’t been taken out of my dry bag for the last three weeks! Bad habit, bad habit! Anyways, I was on my way to the boat house to pick up boats and a certain Joe Dunn (Jer) for a day of screaming morale filled chants and fending off Malteser throwing childer!!! We arrived close to 8 o’clock at the gates (followed by the daring duo Karen and Nuala) opening onto the dock where the kayak section of the Dare – Dublin Dares You began. Paul who was the safety chief of the day briefed us on what was to happen! Myself, Karen, Jer and Nuala headed on and took up our positions. We had to keep a line of sight and direct people to divers or dippers or dib dabs, whatever they were, where they clocked in and headed back. It was a long enough day, started at 9 and finished at 3 but we were well looked after and Jer managed to get some coffee from the place beside where we were on the water. Although I didn’t get one!! Thanks Jer. Gareth made an appearance as he was competing in the race! I must say, I don’t envy him, fair slog so it is! Only one ‘rescue’ was needed so it was a successful day over all if I say so myself!
After the event, our reward was an abseil in the Aviva stadium!! Now, being a bit scared of heights myself, I was a little bit worried but I still wanted to do it. Sure how often do you get a chance like that? So, we went to the stadium, put our harnesses on and made the long journey to the tallest place on Earth. Now, the others were absolutely bricking it so I had to comfort them and ensure them that everything would be alright, beside, even if they fell, they wouldn’t feel it! We got up and I can only speak for myself on this, the start was the worst! The feeling of slowly lowering your upper body, lower than your feet is weird but once you let go it’s plain (ab)sailing! The view was awesome too! Well designed building if I do say so meself and I know cause I do Forestry, and have a chainsaw licence. Over all it was a great day, tiring sitting out for so long shouting at people but sure someone has to do it! There was also a lad on location filming things. He told me that footage from the kayaking would be on Capital D on RTE 1 at 7 on Thursday. So if you want to see some close-ups of all of us doing amazing stuff tune in! 😉
P.S. Lots of exclamation marks are a good thing…….